Whether you are puking in a bucket, cutting lines with a razor on a toilet cistern, or smoking freebase with a complete stranger, there will be a moment in your life when you feel like you are all alone. You can see people; they are everywhere, but for some reason, they cannot see you. You open your mouth, and your words turn to dust. You are a ghost.
At that moment, when the hyperbole of addiction has settled, the razors safely disposed of, and the fridge cleared of booze – the silence is deafening. Most people don’t head off to a jazz club, join an online meetup, or go and watch a comedian.
Most people relapse.
Faced with this feeling of being a nobody, they go back to being that junkie somebody.
There has to be another way.
Alcohol was a normal part of my life. I can’t overstate the word ‘normal’ enough. People didn’t view it as an addiction or a potent poison. In my world, and I imagine in yours also, drinking alcohol is no different than turning on the tap and pouring a glass of water.
And that’s why quitting is so difficult for some people.
You become isolated and alone because everyone is doing it, except you. It’s woven into the fabric of our being. The human race is a black belt in drinking booze. The denial is devastating.
One day I found the solution.
It was simple, as most things are.
I had been sold a convincing story since childhood. I believed the tale, and then one day I stopped. I realised that I could create a new story, a better story, a more compelling, creative, and comfortable story.
I quit drinking and then began writing my new story. I was cast as the hero, societal conditioning was the villain, and the goal was to learn that alcohol offered zero value.
By the end of my story, I had quit drinking.
It was easy.
It’s what followed that was difficult.
Stuck in The Middle With You
Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Even this little piece of writing has a beginning, middle, and end.
Welcome to the middle.
Welcome to the belly of the beast.
Welcome to the shit in the sandwich.
The most difficult part of quitting alcohol is staying sober.
Your community won’t recognise you anymore. Friends feel uncomfortable in your presence. You won’t feel connected to them anymore, and this will feel like an uncontrollable itch.
You won’t understand each other.
You know a simple truth; they don’t. It’s confusing for you. Your friends won’t know why you can’t moderate like everyone else; it’s confusing for them.
There will be no support because those closest to you won’t know what to do. It’s likely you might be the only person you know in your community that has quit alcohol. How can someone have empathy in that situation?
A whole new world opens before you. Time. Space. Promise. A chance to start your life again. A new page. Pen in hand. What story will you write? And then as you begin to dab the ink onto the paper your mind turns blank. Don’t you know what to write? You have forgotten who you are. You don’t remember what you love, and meaning and purpose are like snowflakes, here one minute and gone the next. You don’t have the tools to move forward, there is nobody to hold your hand, and when you fall, everyone walks past, sneering, jeering, kicking.
And you think…
I might as well drink…
It was easier than this…
At least people could see me…
Fuck creating a new story….
And so the journey BACK to the path of least resistance begins.
What if we could dig that road up; build a great big Game of Thrones style wall up against it?
The Needy Helper Hub
Allen Carr helped me quit alcohol.
Jack Canfield, Steven Pressfield, Robert Kiyosaki, Don Miguel Ruiz, are a few of the people who helped me stay quit.
From the moment I searched for meaning and purpose, I found myself wanting to help others learn from my mistakes. It started out as a vision to help people quit alcohol. It’s turned into an idea to help people change the mindset and create more compelling, creative, cracking stories.
I joined forums seeking for individuals who needed my help. Two of the most prominent in the world banned me because people complained that I was helping them. I was confused, angry, and bitter. Not at the individual who complained, or those who banned me from the forums, but at the underpinning rules of our societal conditioning that fills our hearts with so much suspicion and mistrust.
And yet at the same time, people were arriving at Needy Helper and emailing me for advice and support. They were enjoying the Alcohol & Addiction Podcast, were inspired by my book, and enjoyed reading my blog posts.
And yet six years on I still wasn’t helping as many people as I wanted.
I was afraid of failing. What if people didn’t quit? What if I couldn’t help anyone? How would I manage to find the time to respond to everyone; create training courses, and write books? I am having a baby for peats sake. I have a full-time job. I have bills to pay.
It had frozen me stiff.
But now I am thawing out.
I am going for it.
I am stuck in the middle with you.
My impulse is to hold back because I want to wait until everything is perfect. It’s resistance. It’s the dragon. It’s the bastard in my brain trying to coax me to climb over that big fucking wall I have built at the entrance to the path of least resistance.
Let’s do this.
Are you on board?
How would you like to be a community where people give you support and empathise with your situation? How about a community where you ask for advice and help from people who have been where you are? And what if this was for life? What if we held weekly training seminars and you were able to determine what training courses and learning materials would best suit you?
If any of that appeals to you, then perhaps the Needy Helper Hub is for you.
Let’s start creating a new story.